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Published:  23 July, 2008

As 2003 gets underway, Jack Hibberd looks ahead to the year's key trade and consumer food and drink extravaganzas, from Birmingham to So Paulo


ProWein When: 23-25 March Where: Dsseldorf Exhibition Center, Halls 3-8, Germany Who: Messe Dsseldorf GmbH, Messeplatz 40474, Dsseldorf, Germany T: +49 (0) 211 456 001 W: Visitors: 25,000 Exhibitors: 2,800

The German extravaganza of all things wine. Representatives from 48 countries attended last year's show, which included wines from around the world and all 13 German wine-growing regions. The show includes a tasting area with an array of 1,000 white and red wines and 90 varieties of premium Sekt.

Vinitaly When: 10-13 April Where: Verona Exhibition Centre, Verona, Italy Who: Veronafiere, Viale del Lavoro 8, Verona, 37100 T: +39 045 829 8111 W: Visitors: 160,000 Exhibitors: 3,600

One of the world's largest wine events, with over 60,000m2 of floor space, Vinitaly caters to both the trade and consumer. Visitors converged on Verona from over 88 countries last year, while the exhibitors came from 26 countries, as far afield as Argentina, South Africa and the US. Results of the Vinitaly International Wine Competition and the International Packaging Competition will be announced, along with the International Wine and Spirit Competition in Association with Veronafiere Communicator of the Year Award.

London International Wine & Spirits Fair When: 20-22 May Where: ExCeL, London Who: Brintex Ltd, 32 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SS T: 020 7973 6401 W: Visitors: 15,591 Exhibitors: 1,204

In 2002, the LIWSF moved to Britain's newest exhibition venue, ExCeL, in Docklands. The Fair grew as a result of the relocation, with exhibitors occupying 22% more floor space than in previous years. Visitor numbers also increased by 13%. Overseas visitor numbers reached 2,874 (25% of the total audience), representing 32 countries. Organiser Brintex says it will build on the success of the inaugural Fair at ExCeL this year. Growing emphasis will be placed on the on-trade sector, with the introduction of a new feature - The On-trade Forum. The Agents Arena, Spirits Zone, industry briefing and international restaurants will remain key features.

Vinexpo When: 22-26 June Where: Parc des Expositions, Bordeaux, France Who: Vinexpo, 9 cours du Chapeau Rouge, BP 104, 33024 Bordeaux Cedex T: +33 (0) 556 56 00 22 W: Visitors: 50,000+ Exhibitors: 2,500

The biennial Vinexpo is probably the world's highest-profile wine and spirit exhibition. This year, access to the Parc des Expositions and traffic flow around Bordeaux will both be disrupted, due to major roadworks in the city. To remedy the situation, organisers say they will be implementing exceptional measures', including extra shuttle buses from the airport and around the city, electronic route guidance' and live, updated traffic information and, for those who like to take to the skies, an increased helicopter service'.

BBC Good Food Show When: 26-30 November Where: NEC, Birmingham Who: BBC Haymarket Exhibitions, 2-14 Shortlands, London W6 8DJ T: 020 8307 2300 W: Visitors: 114,000 Exhibitors: 500

The reigning champion of consumer food and drink shows, this annual event regularly attracts over 100,000 people. A mix of top food and fine wines are available to taste, while numerous tasting seminars are held on various days. Wine tasting sessions are hosted by some of Britain's most respected wine experts, including Oz Clarke, Robert Joseph and Michael Schuster, while The World of Wine, Beer and Spirits showcases hundreds of brands from producers all over the world. The continued success of the show has prompted organisers to launch a Festive offshoot.


Vive La France When: 17-19 January Where: Olympia, London Who: Haymarket Exhibitions, 2-14 Shortlands, London W6 8DJ T: 020 8267 8300 W: Visitors: 42,000 Exhibitors: 450 The consumer show for people with a soft spot for all things Gallic. French food, wine, spirits and other delights will be on show, alongside areas dealing with property and travel. Organisers say that the Wine Seminar room will be twice as big as last year's, conducting fourteen 45-minute long seminars on the French regions. Robert Joseph and Charles Metcalfe will also lead a tasting of the French winners at this year's International Wine Challenge.

Hospitality Week When: 20-23 January Where: Halls 19 & 20, NEC, Birmingham Who: Fresh RM, 11 Manchester Square, London W1U 3PL T: 020 7886 3100 W: Visitors: 18,000 Exhibitors: 300 From fine-dining restaurants to prison catering services, Hospitality Week is a mixture of trade show and educational experience, with seminars available on subjects ranging from consumer behaviour to the impact of animal welfare.

Wine Scotland When: 17-18 March Where: The Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow, Scotland Who: SITE, 10 Blenheim Road, Edinburgh EH7 T: 0131 556 5152 W: Visitors: 2,000 Exhibitors: 25 Wine Scotland runs alongside its big sister, Scot-hot, the Scottish hospitality exhibition. Now in its sixth year, Wine Scotland attracts buyers from the on-trade, cash-and-carry and independent off-licence sectors.

The International Food and Drink Exhibition When: 23-26 March Where: ExCeL, Royal Docks, London Who: Fresh RM, 11 Manchester Square, London W1U 3PL T: 020 7886 3100 W: Visitors: 26,000 Exhibitors: 1,400 IFE is the UK's biggest food and drink trade show, attracting exhibitors from over 40 countries. This year's show will have an increased focus on drinks' packaging and design; The Retail Buyers Club gives access to a central display of new products; while for independent retailers, Independents Day provides a dedicated trail around the exhibition, as well as information on relevant exhibitors and product samples.

Alimentaria Lisboa When: 6-10 April Where: Feira Internacional de Lisboa, Portugal Who: Reed Exhibitions Iberia, Diputaci, 119 - 08015 Barcelona, Spain T: +34 93 452 07 22 AIP/FIL, Rua do Bojador, Parque das Naes, 1998 - 010 Lisbon, Portugal T: +351 218 921 500 W: Visitors: 42,000 Exhibitors: 1,500 The largest and most important show in Portugal runs on alternate years to its Spanish equivalent, Alimentaria. This trade event deals with all things food and drink, both Portuguese and international. The drink section, Expobebidas, deals with beers, ciders, spirits and, of course, wine. Organisers say that they have an increase in new companies exhibiting this year and that the show is increasingly attracting international visitors, who made up 6.6% of the total in 2001.

Expovinis So Paulo When: 6-8 May Where: ITM Expo, So Paulo, Brazil Who: Exponor - Feira Internacional do Porto, 4450-617 Lea da Palmeira, Portugal T: +351 22 998 1400 W: In its inaugural year, Expovinis So Paulo attempts to create an international fair in the heart of South America'. It follows on from the success of the Expovinis in Portugal last year.

The Pub Show When: 21-22 May Where: Second City suite, Birmingham Who: Lorne Cheetham Exhibitions, New House, Market Place, Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1EN T: 01425 485 373 W: Visitors: 3,000 Exhibitors: 120 Visitors include publicans, caterers, bar managers, freehouse owners and multiple operators. Now in its tenth year.

The Restaurant Show When: 15-17 September Where: Olympia, London Who: Quantum Business Media, Quantum House, 19 Scarbrook Road, Croydon CR9 1LX T: 020 8565 4200 W: Visitors: 10,725 Exhibitors: 300 The main show for the UK restaurant industry. Last year's move to combine the event with Pub & Bar and BarCulture has been discontinued, with the pub shows reverting to their traditional springtime slots. Now in its 15th year, the show will take up both halls at Olympia, but will stay on one level, not split between two, as in previous years. Organisers promise more features for this year, but these have yet to be confirmed.

FHC 2003 When: 16-19 September Where: INTEX, Shanghai and Shanghaimart, China Who: Hong Kong Exhibition Service: overseas contact: Overseas Exhibition Services, 11 Manchester Square, London W1U 3PL T: 020 7862 2111 W: Visitors: 12,887 Exhibitors: 551

FHC is China's biggest food and drink trade fair. It has grown rapidly in recent years, due to the relaxation of trade laws between the world's most populous country and the West. Over 20 countries have taken up generic pavilions, including Italy, Spain and the US. For those more interested in the northern market of China, FHC operates an offshoot in Beijing entitled, imaginatively, FHC Beijing 2003 (4-6 March).

Tasting Australia When: 3-12 October Where: In and around Adelaide Who: Tasting Australia, GPO Box 1972, Adelaide, South Australia 5001 T: +61 88 463 4698 W: Visitors/Exhibitors: N/A Tasting Australia is a ten-day extravaganza of all things tasty. This year's events include the Hahn Premium Beer, Food and Wine Writers' Festival (9-11 October) and a free wine and food event which in 2001 attracted over 30,000 people (12 October). This year's show will be centred around the theme of Magic'.

The Festive BBC Good Food Show When: 5-7 December Where: Earl's Court, London Who: BBC Haymarket Exhibitions, 2-14 Shortlands, London W6 8DJ T: 020 8307 2300 W: none as yet Visitors/Exhibitors: N/A Start with the same mix of food and drink as its progenitor, then toss in some festive fun. The news of a London BBC Good Food Show will come as a relief to those who had to struggle up the M40. Organisers say the early signs are good, with 40% of floor space already sold.